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10 signs of a termite infestation

Many factors contribute to the emergence of termites including rising temperatures, moisture levels, light intensity, wind, and atmospheric pressure. Although many areas of the country will see termite swarms in the spring, in areas where temperatures remain favorable, termites will also swarm in the fall. Regardless of where you live, termites are good at keeping out of sight - you may not be aware that you need termite control until it is too late.

If you can spot an infestation early on – or signs that one may be brewing – you can bring in your local pest control company to perform an inspection of your home. Western Exterminator can help protect your home from the significant structural damage termites can cause and offer the proper treatments. Here are 10 warning signs that signal you might have a termite problem.

Signs of a termite infestation

1. Swarms

A termite swarm is usually the only time homeowners actually see termites or find out they have termites before damage is discovered. This is how termites establish new colonies. Termite swarms can occur both indoors and outside.

2. Discarded wings

This is often the first and only sign of a termite problem. As a termite colony matures, winged termites leave the nest in to create a new colony. When they are no longer needed, termites shed their wings. Piles of wings is an indication that termites are present. Termites are attracted to light so you will most likely see wings in basement window sills or possibly in cobwebs/spider webs. If you see wings inside your home, contact a professional for help immediately.

mud tube

3. Mud tubes

Subterranean termites create mud tubes to travel from the soil to their food source - which may be your home. These pencil-thin tunnels retain moisture and protect the termites from drying out. Most often you will see mud tubes around a home’s foundation.

Termite larvae

4. Frass

Termite droppings or frass are a tell-tale sign of a termite infestation. Drywood termites nest inside of wood. As they create tunnels and eat the wood they are infesting, termites discard the droppings, creating mounds of pellets. Most frass are very small, about one millimeter long, and can look like sawdust or wood shavings. You may find these pellets anywhere there is wood in the home, attics included. If you see termite droppings in your home, call a professional to get a termite inspection.

5. Sounds in your walls

You could hear quiet clicking sounds coming from your walls. Soldier termites bang their heads against the wood or shake their bodies when the colony is disturbed to signal danger to the other termites.

Outdoor issues

6. Outdoor issues

Trees damaged by termites can be dangerous if fallen trees land on your home or in your backyard. This could also mean termites could be heading towards your home. One way to tell if you have termites in your tree is to look for small holes and wood shavings where they entered into the tree. The best place to look for termites is around the base of the tree. Use a small shovel to dig around the roots just below the soil line. You may also see discarded wings or carcasses of dead termites at the base of the tree.

7. Uneven or bubbling paint

Uneven or bubbling paint is often a sign of moisture build-up, which could mean one of two things – water damage or termites.

Wood damage

8. Hollowed-out wood or exterior wood damage

Termites tend to eat wood from the inside out, so wood that sounds hollow when tapped often signifies a termite infestation. Homeowners should also look for blistering pieces of wood.

9. Exterior wood damage

Wood that is damaged on the surface could indicate a potential a termite infestation. Bare, exposed wood or rotted areas are open invitations for a termite attack. If you see this type of damage to your home, get a professional termite inspection.

10. Tight-fitting doors or windows

As subterranean termites devour timber, their excrement or "mud" creates a protective environment that traps heat and moisture. This causes timber to swell, making it harder to open a window or close a door.

Where to look for signs of termites in your home

  • Roofs - Broken tiles create moisture that attracts termites, providing a gateway into your property. Prevent termites by ensuring the roof is dry and that all cracks are promptly repaired.
  • Air conditioning units - Termites prefer moist environments, much like the areas around air conditioning units. Ensure the moisture release of air conditioning units is away from the foundations of your home and get rid of any puddles, condensation or other moisture build-ups.
  • Wooden beams - Regularly check regularly for signs of termite damage by pressing your thumb against the timber to check if it feels spongy.
  • Boxes - In addition to wood, termites will devour the cellulose in cardboard. Store items in plastic boxes and avoid using cardboard unless cardboard traps are in place.
  • Wooden flooring - Wooden floors can be a literal stepping stone for subterranean termites to gain access into your property. Carry out regular termite inspections for termite activity. When building new extensions, lay down physical termite barriers prior to the build.
  • Wooden furniture - Keep furniture away from the walls of your property. Opt for items made of materials such as metal or plastic and put wooden furniture out in the sun if you notice any signs of termites.

Get rid of termites with Western Exterminator

Western Exterminator can help protect your home from the damaging effects of termites. Our specialists will inspect your home and recommend a customized solution for your home’s unique needs. Call us at 888-727-0454 or contact us online for more information.

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